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Til. Indeed, sir, you'll find they will not be missed.
Til. The cue, ma'am, if you please.
Con. It is not meet that he should find you thus. Til. Thou counsel'st right, but 'tis no easy task For barefaced grief to wear a mask of joy.
Enter GOVERnor, r.
'Gov. How's this-in tears?—O—' Puff. There's a round O! for you. Sneer. A capital O!
Gov. Tilburina, shame!
Is this a time for maudlin tenderness,
And Cupid's baby woes ?-hast thou not heard That haughty Spain's Pope-consecrated fleet 'Advances to our shores, while England's fate, 'Like a clipped guinea, trembles in the scale!
Til. [Seizing Governor's hand.] Then, is the crisis of my fate at hand!
I see the fleet's approach-1 see'
Puff. Now, pray, gentlemen, mind. This is one of the most useful figures we tragedy-writers have, by which a hero or heroine, in consideration of their being often obliged to overlook things that are on the stage, is allowed to hear and see a number of things that are not.
Sneer. Yes; a kind of poetical second-sight!
Til. I see their decks
Are cleared!-I see the signal made! 'The line is formed!—a cable's length asunder! 'I see the frigates stationed in the rear; 'And now, I hear the thunder of the guns!
I hear the victor's shouts-I also hear
'The vanquished groan-and now 'tis smoke-and now I see the loose sails shiver in the wind!
e-what soon you'll see'
[Swoons in the Governor's arms. Puff. [In rapture, taking Tilburina's hand.] Mrs. Gibbs, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Dangle and Mr. Sneer. This is Mrs. Gibbs, one of the very best actresses on the stage, I assure you, gentlemen.
Gov. Hold, daughter! peace! this love hath turned thy brain:
The Spanish fleet thou cans't not see-because
-It is not yet in sight!'
Dan. Egad, though, the Governor seems to make no allowance for this poetical figure you talk of
Puff. No; a plain matter-of-fact man; that's his cha
Til. But will you, then, refuse his offer?
'Gov. I must-I will-I can-I ought—I do. Til. His liberty is all he asks.'
Puff. His liberty is all he asks.'
Sneer. All who asks, Mr. Puff?-Who is-he?
Here has been such cut
ting and slashing, I don't know where they have got to
Til. Indeed, sir, you will find it will connect very well.
Til. A retreat in Spain!
Gov. Outlawry here!
Til. Your daughter's prayer!
Gov. Your father's oath!
Til. My lover!
Gov. My country!
• Til. Tilburina!
· Til. A thousand pounds!
'Gov. [Starts.] Hah! thou hast touched me nearly ! Til. Canst thou
Reject the suppliant, and the daughter, too?
Gov. No more; I would not hear thee plead in vain ; 'The father softens-but the Governor
[About to exit. Puff. My dear sir, give that a little more force, if you please-but the Governor's resolved !'
Gov. [Imitating Puff's manner.] The father softensbut the governor
[Exit, quickly, L.
Til. 'Tis well-hence, then, fond hopes-fond passion
"Whis. [Without, R.] Where is my love-my-behind!' Puff. My what?-What's that, Mr. Penson?
Enter WHISKERANDOS, R.
Puff. Have the goodness to let me hear that line again. Whis. Where is my love-my behind?'
Puff. No, no, sir! Where is my love-my-behind the scenes'-spoken behind the scenes.
Whis. Oh, I beg pardon, sir, but I assure you it is written so in my part. [Exit, R.-Puff crosses to Sneer and Dangle.
Enter WHISKERANDOS, R.
Whis. (R.) Where is my love-my-beauteous enemy, My conquering Tilburina! How! is't thus
'We meet? Why are thy looks averse? What means
'Yes, now I feel the galling weight of these
'Disgraceful chains-which, cruel Tilburina!
Thy doating captive gloried in before.
But thou art false, and Whiskerandos is undone !
Til. Oh, no; how little dost thou know thy Tilburina. Whis. Art thou, then, true? Begone cares, doubts, and fears,
'I make you all a present to the winds;
And if the winds reject you-try the waves.'
Puff. The wind, you know, is the established receiver of all stolen sighs, and cast-off griefs and apprehensions. Til. Yet must we part?-Stern duty seals our doom: Though here I call yon conscious clouds to witness, 'Could I pursue the bias of my soul,
All friends, all rights of parents I'd disclaim,
And thou, my Whiskerandos, should'st be father
And friend to me!
Whis. Oh, matchless excellence! And must we part? Well, if we must-we must--and in that case The less is said the better.'
Puff. Heyday! here's a cut!-What! are all the mutual protestations out?
Til. Now, pray, sir, don't interrupt us just here; you ruin our feelings!
Puff. Your feelings!--but zounds, my feelings, ma'am! Whis. (R.) One last embrace.
Til. (L.) Now-farewell for ever!
Whis. For ever!
'Til. Aye, for ever!'
[Going, R. and L.
Puff. S'death and fury!-Gadslife! Sir! Madam, I really can't suffer this-if you go out without the parting look, you might as well dance out-Here!
For ever! Aye, for ever!'
[Holding forth his arms, as to embrace.] Give them the last puff of your tragedy bellows!
Whis. [With arms extended.] For ever! Oh!
Til. Aye, for ever, oh!' [They rush into each other's arms, then reluctantly part and exeunt, Whiskerandos, R., Tilburina, L.
Con. But pray, sir, how am I to get off here?
Puff. You! pshaw! what the devil signifies how you get off! [Pushes the Confidant off, R.—. -Drop scene lowers ;
Sneer and Dangle rise.
Dan. Oh, charming!
Puff. Hey!-'tis pretty well, I believe. You see, I don't attempt to strike out any thing new-but I take it I improve on the established modes.
Enter UNDER Prompter, l.
Under P. Sir, the carpenter says it is impossible you can go to the Park scene yet.
Puff. The Park scene!
scene here, in the wood.
No-I mean the description
Under P. Sir, the performers have cut it out.
Under P. Yes, sir.
Puff. What! the whole account of Queen Elizabeth? Under P. Yes, sir.
Puff. And the description of her horse and side-saddle? Under P. Yes, sir.
Puff. So, so, this is very fine, indeed! Mr. Prompter, how the plague could you suffer this?
Prompter. [From within, L.] Sir, indeed, the pruning
Puff. The pruning knife-zounds 1 the axe! Why, here has been such lopping and topping, I shan't have the
bare trunk of my play left presently. Very well, sir— the performers must do as they please; but, upon my soul, I'll print it every word.
Sneer. That I would, indeed.
Puff. Very well, sir—then, we must go on. [Exit Under Prompter, L.] Well, now, if the scene is ready—we'll go on. [The Drop scene rises, and discovers a Wood scene. A carpet spread on the stage, and a chair in the centre.] So, now for my mysterious yeoman.
Enter a BEEFEATER, L. s. E.
'Beef. Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee !' Sneer. Haven't I heard that line before?
Puff. No, I fancy not. Where, pray?
Dan. Yes, I think there is something like it in “Othello."
Puff. Gad! now you put me in mind on't, I believe there is—but that's of no consequence-all that can be said is, that two people happened to hit on the same thought and Shakspeare made use of it first, that's all. Sneer. Very true.
Puff. Now, sir, your soliloquy-but speak more to the pit, if you please the soliloquy always to the pit-that's a rule.
Beef. Though hopeless love finds comfort in despair, 'It never can endure a rival's bliss!
Puff. Put your finger to your head when you say that -and don't gallop off-steal cautiously off.
'Beef. But soft—I am observed.’
[Exit Beefeater; stealthily, R. Dan. That's a very short soliloquy.
Puff. Yes-but it would have been a great deal longer if he had not been observed.
Sneer. A most sentimental Beefeater that, Mr. Puff. Puff. Harkye-I would not have you to be too sure that he is a Beefeater.
Sneer. What, a hero in disguise?
Puff. No matter-I only give you a hint. But now for my principal character-here he comes-Lord Burleigh in person! Pray, gentlemen, step this way-softly-1 only hope the Lord High Treasurer is perfect-if he is but perfect!